The reader who sent me the Minolta Maxxum 5 also sent me four rolls of film, including two of the original Agfa Vista 400. The last film sold under the Agfa Vista 400 name was rebranded Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400. The film I was sent was the older, Agfa-made emulsion. It’s easy to tell one from the other: the older emulsion carries Agfacolor branding, and the newer carries Agfa Photo branding.
Any Agfacolor Vista 400 you come upon is expired. The two rolls I received were always stored frozen, which always bodes well for like-fresh performance.
Boldly, I shot my first roll at box speed in my Pentax ME SE with the 50mm f/2 SMC Pentax-M lens attached. Sadly, I was rewarded with photographs that ranged from slightly to very underexposed. Drat it. Photoshop was able to rescue about two thirds of them. The rest were too faint to be made usable.
I shot most of the roll on an afternoon trip to Carmel, a suburb of Indianapolis. They have a quirky downtown area they call the Arts and Design District. This photo of leftover Christmas decorations is one of the least degraded images on the roll, and gives a good sense of this film’s capabilities. The colors are true, but slightly oversaturated.
This film clearly has a color palette all its own, different from the Kodak and Fuji stocks.
The Arts and Design District features several statues of people represented as going about their daily lives. I’ve always found them to be strange and creepy.
It’s strange to me how some of these images are noticeably underexposed and others aren’t. My past experience with expired film is that it behaves fairly consistently throughout the roll.
I like how Agfa Vista 400 rendered the neutrals and blacks in this photo.
Bub’s is a Carmel institution. You could smell the burgers grilling for 100 yards in any direction.
When I shoot my next (and last) roll of Agfa Agfacolor Vista 400, I’ll dial my camera in at EI 200. That ought to result in better exposures on this expired stock.
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